Chicken Ragu with Kalamata Olives

A rich and flavorful slow-cooked chicken ragu recipe with fennel, celery, carrots, and kalamata olives served on pappardelle pasta! Perfect for dinner parties

chicken ragu recipe with kalamata olives served over parpadelle pasta


After a few recipes that lean towards the sweeter side of things, I figured it’s time to turn the tables over to something savory. And anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to savory, pasta is my main squeeze. I’ve been making a rendition of this Chicken Ragu I found in Food & Wine for my clients lately. They just flip for it, and so do I.

chicken ragu served over parpadelle pasta

There are a few of things about this dish that I think are fantastic. First, pappardelle is way up there on my list of favorite pastas, second only to Bucatini- which I love so much that I named my cat after it, so yeah, my love affair with noodles is not to be taken lightly- and this rich, hearty sauce stands up perfectly to the thick, wide, glorious ribbons.

side view of chicken ragu served over parpadelle pasta

Second, the olives. They absolutely make this dish. Every time you get a briny bite of kalamata it’s like a little explosion of flavor and you instantly get the feeling that without it the dish would be left lacking something. You definitely don’t want to skimp on the olives.

chicken ragu with kalamata olives served over parpadelle pasta

Lastly, this chicken ragu recipe is vaguely reminiscent of something my mom used to make for us when I was younger; a  recipe she got from an Italian co-worker made with dark meat chicken, sundried tomatoes, spaghetti and herbs that we affectionately referred to as “Leanne’s Spaghetti”.

It quickly earned a coveted spot in our dinner rotation. Now I don’t expect anyone else to relate to this besides my family and I but I think it’s that sense of nostalgia- the way a dish can instantly transport you back to your childhood- that I really enjoy about this Chicken Ragu recipe…and about food in general. And that’s something I think everyone can relate to.

What to serve with chicken ragu? 

I like to serve the sauce on pasta. Use your pasta of choice….. I used parpadelle in my version, but fettucine, or even fussili or penne works really well also.


  • Feel free to use white wine our vermouth instead of the sherry. 
  • You can use marinara instead of tomato sauce. 
  • For extra heartiness, add some dried, rehydrated sliced porcini mushrooms along with the veggies. You will have to put the mushrooms in hot water for about 20 mins to redydrate. Use the soaking liquid to make your chicken broth
  • Add some 1/2 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice  for a meat-lover’s version. Just chop it up and sear it in a tbsp oil, then use the same pan to sear the chicken. 

More pasta recipes

If you make this Chicken Ragu with Kalamata Olives, leave a comment and rating below, and share it on Instagram with #LePetitEats!

5 from 1 vote

Chicken Ragu with Kalamata Olives

A rich and flavorful slow cooked chicken ragu recipe with fennel, celery, carrots and kalamata olives served on parpadelle pasta! Perfect for dinner parties

Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Keyword chicken ragu recipe, chicken with olives, ragu with chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 24 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 34 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Calories 413 kcal
Author Denisse


  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb cored and chopped
  • 1 celery rib chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lbs. skinless bone-in chicken thighs fat trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sage chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sherry or white wine or dry vermouth
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato sauce


  1. In a food processor, combine the onions, fennel, celery, carrot and garlic and pulse until very finely chopped.
  2. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot (preferably cast iron). Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the pot. Sear on both sides over moderately high heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a platter.
  3. Add the vegetable mixture to the pot and season with salt and pepper; cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, rosemary, sage and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the vinegar and cook for a few minutes until reduced by half, then add the sherry and cook for a few more minutes until reduced by half.
  4. Add the broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pot. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let cool slightly, then shred the meat, discarding the bones, and stir it into the sauce along with the olives.
  6. Season the ragù with salt and pepper and toss the pappardelle with the ragu. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Recipe Notes

The chicken ragu freezes well. 

Calorie count does not include pasta.


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  1. Kiki Überacker

    Delish! This is perfect for cold weather and I love olives added to stews! Serving it with pappardelle is a total must!


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